Monday, June 14, 2010

Can Afghanistan Survive Wealth?

U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe
This discovery could change Afghanistan forever despite all the staggering problems of predatory China, building heavy mining infrastructure, building a road infrastructure to support the mining industry, rampant corruption, and environmental hazards associated with sudden mineral wealth.

If the Afghans can accept Western guidance and develop these minerals peaceably and without corruption, then the resulting industries could provide jobs and a quality of living for the average Afghan beyond anything ever experienced in its millennia of history.

Very exciting stuff but ultimately the correct decisions on responsible exploitation of this mineral wealth depends on the Afghans. Fingers crossed.

No comments:

Post a Comment